You wake up one day and decide it’s time to order that item you’ve been eyeing online for the past week. Once the order is placed, you receive an email confirmation, and the next day the tracking information is sent along with the delivery date.
Finally, you get that highly anticipated “Package Delivered” email at work with a picture of the box on your porch. You can’t wait to get home and rip open the package – it’s all you think about on the commute home.
As you pull up to your house, you don’t see the box and guess a neighbor may have grabbed it. After each neighbor informs you they don’t have it, you finally file a missing package claim as you realize you’re the victim of a porch pirate.
Keep reading to learn more about this kind of theft and ways to prevent it from happening to you.
What Is a Porch Pirate?
Porch pirates visit neighborhoods to steal packages from the homes of others. But, is this something that should worry you?
How Common Is Porch Pirating?
Unfortunately, since the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020 caused online ordering to rise, there’s been a significant increase in stolen packages. There are a few reasons package theft is popular.
Why Do Porch Pirates Steal?
While some steal for the rush, others do it because it’s easy. Porch pirating is a crime of convenience many commit because they’re presented with a low-risk opportunity. Then there are those hoping to find something valuable, like high-priced electronics they can resell.
Can You Stop a Porch Pirate?
While porch pirating incidents will continue to occur, there are actions you can take to protect your deliveries and decrease the risk of theft.
9 Tips for Stopping Porch Pirates
For your own safety, if you catch a porch pirate in the act, don’t approach them. Trying to stop them while they’re committing a crime isn’t a good idea as you don’t know their state of mind or if they’re carrying a weapon. The best thing to do in this scenario is to implement preventative measures.
Ask for the Package Not To Be Placed in Plain View
Most delivery companies allow you to leave comments or instructions for the delivery person. They’re very good at following instructions as a missing package may negatively affect their job status.
If there is a driver who regularly works in your neighborhood, talk to them if you have a chance and let them know where you’d prefer to have your deliveries left. Perhaps there’s a large plant pot where small packages can sit behind.
Alternatively, if you have a back door or side door that is not visible from the street, larger packages can be placed there. As we said earlier, this is a crime of convenience, so if the package isn’t in plain view, a porch pirate likely won’t waste time searching for it.
Pay for Package Receiving Services
A package receiving service accepts your deliveries for a monthly or yearly fee. Renting a locker near your home or job makes it easy to pick up packages on your way to or from work or when running errands. The major delivery services offer this benefit.
Require a Signature
Checking the “Signature Required” box for the package when making a purchase means the delivery person will have to knock or ring your bell to complete the delivery. This is great because the driver must interact with an adult in the household before dropping off the shipment.
They must also make sure they sign to confirm that the package was received. If you work from home, this will prevent porch pirating, but if not, you may want to consider another option.
Use a Porch Pirate Bag
Porch pirate bags are excellent deterrents for would-be thieves. These bags are large enough to fit most standard packages, and they can be locked onto a fixed section of the porch.
A combination lock keeps the delivery safe. However, although the bag’s material is durable, it’s still a bag. A determined porch pirate will cut through it, but that’s unlikely as it may take more time than they care to spend.
Have Your Local Post Office Hold Onto USPS Packages
If your local post office offers a package-receiving service, take advantage of it. Not all USPS locations will hold onto your deliveries for pick up, but if yours does, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your package will be safely retrieved and held onto until you pick it up yourself.
Install a Home Security System
Package theft isn’t likely to happen once a thief sees that you have a home security system. Porch pirates don’t want to get caught committing a crime, especially not on camera, so positioning one over your porch will keep thieves away.
Motion detectors trigger cameras and lights that will send a thief running in the other direction as well. Even something simple, like a yard sign or window decal, can deter porch pirates.
Ask Neighbors for Help
Asking neighbors who you trust to help you by grabbing deliveries you can’t take in immediately is another option. For instance, if you have a Ring doorbell, you’ll get an alert when a package has been delivered.
You can then contact your neighbors and ask them to hold onto your package for you until you get home. Also, if you’re on the road frequently, ask if you can use your neighbor’s address for deliveries.
Talk to your neighbors about starting a watch group, especially if porch pirating is prevalent in the neighborhood. While they can’t be expected to be on the job 24/7, neighbors can work together to minimize thefts.
Have Packages Delivered To Your Work
Sometimes, it’s easier to have packages delivered to your place of employment if your employer allows it. This works for small or medium-sized boxes.
Larger shipments are troublesome to carry through the parking lot, and your vehicle may not have enough room for the box. However, if it’s sensible enough, this could be a convenient solution.
Use the Ship To Store Option
Many online retailers will permit you to ship the order to a local store. Some items are only available for online ordering, so it’s not odd to have them sent to the retail location for pick up.
Don’t Make It Easy For Porch Pirates
Porch pirates are looking for an easy score. They don’t want to risk being caught, and you can use the methods mentioned here to make their task difficult.
Numerous alternative delivery options are now available to customers. You just have to choose the one that fits your lifestyle best.
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